Evaluation and Eligibility

Referral for a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) for Special Education Services

Once it has been determined that a student continues to experience difficulty in the general education classroom after appropriate interventions are provided, the student may be referred for an FIE to determine eligibility and the need for special education services. A referral for an FIE may be initiated by the parent or school personnel through the Student Intervention Team (SIT) process.  In Western Red River SSA, evaluations are conducted by qualified personnel which  may include:  an educational diagnostician, licensed specialists in school psychology (LSSP), and/or speech-language pathologist.  Once the school receives written consent to evaluate, the District has 45 school days to conduct the FIE and an additional 30 days from the date of the FIE to convene an Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee meeting to review the results of that evaluation. A child between the ages of three through twenty-one must meet the criteria for one or more of the disability categories listed below to be eligible for special education services:

*These conditions have special considerations that may begin at birth.

Parent consent for an evaluation is required.  Since parent consent is required for an initial evaluation, the parent may refuse to sign the consent for evaluation.  If a parent wishes to request an initial evaluation, the request must be made in writing to a District administrative staff member.  The District then has 15 school days to respond by either obtaining consent or providing a written response of refusal.


Eligibility for special education services is determined based on two criteria: (1) a student must have a disability listed above, and (2) as a result of the disability, the student must demonstrate an educational need and therefore requires specially designed instruction.  As part of considering eligibility, the evaluation must determine that the student has had appropriate instruction and that the academic or behavioral difficulties cannot be explained by other factors such as frequent absences, limited English proficiency, or other factors that could be the primary cause of the difficulties. 


A re-evaluation must occur at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the District agree that a reevaluation is not necessary.